504 Plan and Iep

Understanding the difference between 504 Plan and IEP Individualized Education Program (IEP) is crucial for parents, educators, and students in the realm of special education. Both are designed to support students with disabilities, but they serve different purposes and are governed by different laws.

Definitions of 504 Plan and Iep

504 Plan

  • A 504 Plan is part of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • It is designed for students with disabilities to ensure they have access to the same education as their peers.
  • This plan focuses on accommodations and modifications within the general education setting.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

  • An IEP is a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • It is a more comprehensive special education plan for students with a wider range of disabilities.
  • An IEP includes specific educational goals, specialized instructions, and related services tailored to the student’s unique needs.
504 Plan and Iep

Table Comparison

Feature504 PlanIEP
Governing LawRehabilitation Act of 1973Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
EligibilityAny disability that impacts a major life activitySpecific categories of disabilities that affect educational performance
FocusAccess to learning in the general classroomSpecialized instruction and services
DocumentationLess formal, plan outlineDetailed and legally binding document
ServicesAccommodations and modificationsSpecial education services, therapies, accommodations

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Who is eligible for a 504 Plan and an IEP?

A: 504 Plans are for students with any disability affecting a major life activity. IEPs are for students with specific disabilities that impact their educational performance.

Q: Can a student have both a 504 Plan and an IEP?

A: Generally, a student will have either a 504 Plan or an IEP, but not both. The IEP tends to encompass more comprehensive services that a 504 Plan would offer.

Q: How is the implementation of a 504 Plan and an IEP different in schools?

A: 504 Plans often involve minor adjustments in the general education classroom. IEPs may include special education services, individualized instruction, and potentially different classroom settings.


While both 504 Plans and IEPs aim to support students with disabilities, they differ significantly in terms of legal framework, eligibility, and the services they offer. Understanding these differences is essential for providing the appropriate support and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to succeed in their educational endeavors.

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